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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Smaller or more minimalist truck camper

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livemusic

Louisiana

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Posted: 08/14/22 11:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello, I do not have a TC but have been thinking about it again. I have been thinking of all kinds of RVs but keep going back to "smaller" or "less demanding with upkeep" or "less." And I often think of just having a camper shell and a mattress underneath for sleeping. But... especially if I have my lady friend along, a bathroom would be a big help. A man is not as picky with bathroom needs. A kitchen would be nice but I just keep gravitating to maybe I don't want a big truck camper, not sure yet. They are certainly expensive.

I have a 2008 Nissan Titan truck and it's got 230k miles, so, I won't be using it, I am due for a new truck. Probably would buy a 3/4 ton minimum, maybe even 1-ton but also 4wd. Unsure of bed length. If I had just a shell, would probably get a 6.5 ft bed, minimum, as I am 6'2" tall. An 8 ft would be even better but the entire truck would be longer, and it seems kind of clunky to maneuver around.

Just wondering... do they make smaller truck campers with less bells and whistles but that have bathrooms? Or what other options, possibilities, could I explore? If I didn't need a bathroom and just had a camper shell with mattress, that could suffice for some nights. I also have a tent I could use sometimes.

I guess I could also consider a popup to pull but I would rather it all be there on a truck.

I am not afraid of camping under the stars but something self-contained would be better for a woman, and certainly better even for me in weather. While mentioning weather, I don't like to be hot, so, an a/c sure would be nice in the warmer months. But I could also just travel in cooler climes!

joerg68

St. Ingbert, Germany

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Posted: 08/14/22 11:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have a look at Northstar Liberty or Laredo, or Lance 650.
If a popup truck camper is an alternative, look into a Northstar 850SC. Outfittermfg and Hallmark also
make bathroom models, but pricier.
All of these will work on a 3/4 ton with a 6.5' bed.
Bundutecusa is another manufacturer that comes to mind.
There are others.
Small does not necessarily mean inexpensive, though.
If you are looking to buy used, an older Lance 815 might be an option.


2014 Ford F350 XLT 6.2 SCLB + 2017 Northstar Arrow


cptqueeg

Idaho

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Posted: 08/14/22 12:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What you might consider is a "shell" model of the Four Wheel Camper Grandby it includes just a bed. The Grandby is for a 8' bed. A 6.5' pop up is cramped w 2 people. Pack your camping stove, 12v cooler, porta potty (and porta potty tent), and water supply as needed. Perhaps a built in diesel heater, some lithium batteries, and solar. It's a very versatile setup, bring only what you need. You want to do your cooking and bodily functions out doors.

If you needed to carry stuff on the roof Hallmark is a great option but there is a lengthy wait for delivery, and it's totally customizable.

And I would hang on to the Titan, especially if it's an 8' bed.

jimh406

Western MT

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Posted: 08/14/22 01:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look at Capri Campers.


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cewillis

Tucson, az, usa

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Posted: 08/14/22 04:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

https://www.outfittermfg.com/shop-campers/caribou-lite-6-5
Available with cassette toilet. Queen size bed. Can be carried bu a mid-size truck. Less than 1000 lb dry.
This would be my choice if I was ever going to camp off-road again like I used to. Smaller, lighter, more agile.


Cal


JimBollman

Lost State of Franklin

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Posted: 08/14/22 06:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have moved to a B camper now because of my wife's issues getting into the overhead bed anymore. Before that we traveled many thousands of miles with an 8' slide in popup with a porta-potty. We spent 6 weeks in it on one trip and were still married happily at the end. We hauled on a F250 with the 7.3l Diesel and hardly knew the camper was on the truck so I only took it off when I need the truck bed. Porta-potty has been acceptable to my wife over the last 40+ years of camping and traveling. I used the F250 as our second vehicle so it got local miles when not on trips. Campers were pretty bare bones but had a sink with running cold water, stove and frig.

LadyRVer

Florida

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Posted: 08/14/22 07:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a Palomino truck camper on a 3/4 ton long bed, Dodge Ram. I put air bags on the truck and it was the perfect set up. Drove beautifully, no sway. Went from FL to the state of WA with it. Awesome way to travel. Had all the amenities. It was about 2400 dry and within specs for the truck bed when loaded. I did not find the long bed, crew cab hard to drive. I looked at the CampLite, they can be for short beds or long beds. A little concerned about the quality, but they looked good.

mkirsch

Rochester, NY

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Posted: 08/15/22 07:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A camper with just a bathroom? Yes, but you will pay a price premium for it, and/or they are only available one place in the entire country.

Really, once you get everything you need to take a hot shower and do your business, there aren't too many more "bells and whistles" in your typical camper. A stove. A furnace. A refrigerator. Big whoop.

I looked for a "basic" camper option for a long time, and settled on a used Palomino with "all the bells and whistles." I ended up making use of the "bells and whistles" much more than I thought I would. The stovetop I could live without. The fridge is indispensable. I added a rooftop AC salvaged from a popup trailer.


Putting 10-ply tires on half ton trucks since aught-four.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 08/15/22 08:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get a truck that will haul a TC then look for small hard side and pop up models.


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Deb and Ed M

SW MI & Space Coast, FL USA

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Posted: 08/15/22 09:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 23 yr-old NorthStar pop-up camper that I love! In the N* line, any camper labeled "SC" means self-contained and has a wet bath. Mine is a "TC" but offers plenty of cabinet space to stow a portapotty.
Anyway - it's not hard to add A/C to most campers; N* puts a window in the back that can be removed and a conventional window A/C can be placed in the opening. It's MUCH cheaper than a roof-mounted unit.
I agree with others - it's easier to find a fully-optioned camper, than find one as a shell-with-bath

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